11 Years & $5 Million Later: What I Love & Have Learned About Blogging

It’s been 11 years since I began Making Sense of Cents, and I’m nonetheless fully amazed that that is what I get to do for a residing!

In August of 2011, after I opened my laptop computer and began this weblog, I had no thought what I used to be doing. I didn’t even know that blogs might generate profits.11 Years & $5 Million Later: What I Love & Have Learned About Blogging

This weblog began as a pastime as a result of I loved studying different private finance blogs and figured why not begin my very own.

11 years in the past, I had no actual desires or objectives for my weblog. I used to be fully nameless – I wrote with a faux identify, and I didn’t even inform my buddies or household about my weblog. 

For your complete first yr of running a blog, solely Wes and my sister knew what I used to be doing. 

Rather a lot has modified since then! 

What began as a enjoyable strategy to share my story has became tens of millions of annual readers and lifelong friendships. And, I’ve earned a terrific revenue that enables me to retire at any time when I need, and I like what I do.

11 years in the past, I by no means would have guessed this for myself!

And, I’ve by no means been extra grateful, particularly recently.

Working my very own enterprise and having the ability to work minimal hours means I can spend as a lot free time as I need with my husband and our child lady.

It’s a dream come true.

As a result of running a blog is a distant job, I get to do all of it with my household whereas we journey. Meaning I can spend time climbing, snorkeling, biking, exploring new locations, and extra. I even have the flexibility to sit down at dwelling and have a soothing day realizing that my enterprise runs within the background offering for us.

My weblog has grown into an exquisite enterprise that has allowed me to take pleasure in my work, have a versatile schedule, and earn a terrific residing.

What has all the time been superb to me is how little I knew about running a blog after I began.

I’m undoubtedly not a techy particular person, and I’ve by no means thought-about myself a author.

I carry that up as a result of lots of people assume you must be each to begin a profitable weblog.

Previously 11 years, a lot has modified for me, and it’s all as a result of I randomly began Making Sense of Cents sooner or later.

Running a blog was one thing I began and labored on along with my full-time day job as a monetary analyst, and round two years after I began this weblog, I give up my day job to weblog full-time (that was again in 2013).

Some enjoyable stats about Making Sense of Cents:

  • My first weblog submit was printed on August 10, 2011. You’ll be able to learn it right here.
  • I’ve printed 2,072 articles on Making Sense of Cents.
  • I’ve obtained 134,434 emails (this doesn’t even embody the numerous emails I’ve deleted over time, so the quantity might be over 1 million, haha!). I haven’t included promotional emails both – the 134,434 are merely emails from my readers.
  • I’ve 67,410 feedback on my weblog posts. This was increased however I not too long ago deleted over 5,000 feedback that had damaged hyperlinks.
  • I’ve personally replied to over 21,488 feedback.
  • It took me six months to earn my first $100 from Making Sense of Cents.


How and why I began this weblog

I say this on a regular basis, however I believe it’s price repeating: I had no thought what I used to be doing after I began this weblog.

So many individuals suppose that you just have to be a tech wizard or have expertise to begin a weblog.

However, that’s so removed from the reality. Most of the most profitable bloggers I do know have began on a whim. They realized as they went and made a variety of errors.

And, that’s true for me as properly.

I began Making Sense of Cents after studying a couple of private finance web site in {a magazine}. It began purely as a pastime to trace my monetary scenario.

I had no clue {that a} weblog might even generate profits, that individuals did this full-time, how you can develop a weblog, or what a weblog submit actually was.

Again in 2011, I used to be working as an analyst at an funding banking and valuation agency. I had a aggravating job crammed with a lot of deadlines and tasks that simply didn’t curiosity me, plus I lacked any actual ardour and even considerably enjoyment for what I used to be doing. I chugged alongside working the 8-5, Monday-through-Friday grind and didn’t see myself having an pleasurable future there. 

I fully dreaded the workweek, and I knew that the job was not for me.

Running a blog was an outlet for my aggravating day job, and my curiosity shortly grew, regardless that it was only a pastime. It gave me area to jot down about my private finance scenario, have a assist group, hold observe of how I used to be doing, and extra. I didn’t create Making Sense of Cents with the intention of incomes an revenue, however after solely six months, I started to generate profits with Making Sense of Cents via sponsored partnerships.

A pal I met via the running a blog group related me with an advertiser, and I earned $100 from that first commercial deal.

That one deal sparked my curiosity, so I made a decision to take my weblog extra significantly and learn to make much more cash running a blog.

I now earn a terrific residing from my weblog, and it began so randomly, not even realizing that blogs might generate profits.

Running a blog fully modified my life for the higher, and I urge anybody who’s to learn to begin a weblog as properly.

Running a blog has allowed me to take management of my funds and earn extra money. It means I can make money working from home, journey at any time when I need, have a versatile schedule, and extra.

And, all of this occurred as a result of I began some random weblog eleven years in the past.

I made so many errors at first, and I nonetheless make errors right now. However, I proceed to be taught and enhance, which has formed this weblog into what it’s right now.

I used to be so afraid to give up my job after I did, particularly for a weblog.

Individuals thought I used to be completely loopy and making the worst resolution of my life. 

Right now, I’m going to speak in regards to the 11 issues that I like and have realized about running a blog over the previous 11 years. I really feel like what I take pleasure in about running a blog and what I’ve realized go hand-in-hand. I add one new factor every year, and I all the time have enjoyable my annual blogiversary submit.

If you haven’t yet – please follow me on Instagram.

Associated content material:

Right here’s what I like and have realized about running a blog.


Crusing within the Bahamas earlier this yr

1. I like being my very own boss

After I first began Making Sense of Cents and realized I might make an revenue from it, I shortly realized how a lot I like being my very own boss.

I like being in full management of what I do, and changing into self-employed could provide you with that very same feeling. I take pleasure in deciding what I’ll do every day, creating my very own schedule, figuring out my enterprise objectives, dealing with behind-the-scenes work, and extra.

I even have a rule in my life/enterprise about not doing something except I actually wish to. Whereas I nonetheless comply with a variety of alternatives, I’m not doing something that appears like a complete drag or is in opposition to my beliefs. This has actually helped enhance my work-life stability, which is nice as a result of having the ability to select the way you earn a residing quantities to creating certain you’re keen on every thing you do.

I truthfully love each service I present – writing on-line, selling, networking, interacting with readers, and extra.

Working a web-based enterprise (and being your individual boss) is probably not for everybody, nevertheless it’s one thing I take pleasure in.


2. Having a versatile schedule modifications your life

Among the best issues about working for your self and being a blogger is that you could have a versatile schedule.

I can work as far forward as I wish to, I can create my very own work schedule, and extra.

I like having the ability to work for a couple of hours within the morning, do one thing enjoyable throughout the day (reminiscent of climbing), after which work later at evening when I’ve nothing deliberate. I also can schedule appointments throughout the day, and it’s actually no massive deal.

I can work at evening, within the morning, on the weekends – I can work at any time when.

However, this may also be one thing you must regulate as a result of having work-life stability is so essential.


3. Being location unbiased is fantastic

Spending the previous couple of years being location unbiased has been an extremely fantastic expertise.

I like having the ability to work from wherever I’m, and it’s allowed me a few of the greatest experiences I’ve had, like residing in an RV and on a sailboat. All I would like is an web connection and my laptop computer.

The one downside with being location unbiased is that it makes it tough to separate work from the remainder of your life. Chances are you’ll end up working on a regular basis, irrespective of the place you’re, and whereas which will sound nice, having the ability to take a real trip is usually a exhausting process.

Nonetheless, I’m not going to complain as a result of the work-life stability I’ve proper now’s fairly unbelievable.


4. Bear in mind, success takes time

Many bloggers give up just some months after beginning.

In truth, the statistic I’ve all the time heard is that the typical blogger quits after solely six months.

I fully perceive – beginning a weblog might be tremendous overwhelming!

However, good issues don’t come straightforward. If running a blog had been straightforward, then everybody can be doing it.

It took me six months for me to earn my first $100 from Making Sense of Cents. If I had give up simply earlier than then, I’d have missed out on every thing I’ve skilled up till this level.

Bear in mind, success takes time.


5. Don’t write whenever you really feel pressured

One factor I’ve undoubtedly realized about myself over time is that I write greatest after I’m not pressured, e.g. after I’m on a deadline.

As a substitute, I all the time attempt to write content material properly earlier than I plan on publishing it.

I used to jot down issues the day earlier than I deliberate on publishing, however I discovered that to be tremendous aggravating. Even every week prematurely was too aggravating for me.

I prefer to be at the least a month forward as a result of I can really write after I really feel impressed, and I’m all the time comfortable to jot down this manner.

Presently, I’ve about 4 months price of content material written prematurely, and I wish to be even additional out from that.


6. Get able to be taught

Every thing about having a weblog is a studying course of.

It’s nonetheless so new, and it’s not such as you’ve realized these expertise in class.

Running a blog will not be a get-rich-quick scheme, and anybody who tells you that it’s (or acts like it’s) is mendacity.

Running a blog will not be straightforward.

And, you gained’t make $100,000 your first month running a blog.

In truth, you probably gained’t make $1,000 your first month running a blog.

Running a blog is a variety of work, particularly at first. The trade is all the time altering, which suggests you need to proceed studying and adapting to the expertise round you. This consists of studying about social media platforms, working a web site, rising your platform, writing high-quality content material, and extra.

That is one thing that I like about running a blog – it’s by no means stale. There’s all the time a brand new problem.


7. Cease seeing different bloggers as competitors

Okay, so this isn’t precisely one thing that I’ve realized personally, however I need everybody else to know it.

I’ve all the time had the mindset that there’s room for everybody within the running a blog world. Nonetheless, not everybody feels the identical manner.

So many bloggers see different bloggers as enemies or competitors, and it is a mistake.

I principally see this in newer bloggers, and it may actually maintain you again as a result of networking is so essential if you wish to create a profitable weblog..

Bloggers must be open to creating running a blog buddies, attending conferences, sharing different blogs’ content material with their readers (reminiscent of on their blogs, Twitter, or Pinterest), liking posts on social media, and extra.

Networking can assist you take pleasure in running a blog much more, develop your expertise, learn to generate profits running a blog, make nice connections, and extra. If you wish to generate profits running a blog, then you must community with others! In any case, networking is the rationale why I realized how you can generate profits running a blog within the first place!

The hot button is to be real and to provide greater than you’re taking, that are the 2 predominant issues I all the time inform folks relating to networking. I obtain so many emails daily from individuals who clearly aren’t real, and it’s all the time apparent.

I’ve made nice buddies who’re bloggers and influencers, and it’s really a terrific group to be in.


8. You don’t want earlier expertise to achieve success

As you realized earlier, I didn’t have earlier expertise after I began Making Sense of Cents. I additionally didn’t have the primary clue about what it took to turn into profitable.

To turn into a blogger, you don’t want any earlier expertise. You don’t must be a pc genius, perceive social media, or anything.

These are all issues that you’ll be taught as you begin a weblog.

Almost each single blogger was model new in some unspecified time in the future, and so they had no thought what they had been doing.

I’m proof of that as a result of I didn’t even know that blogs existed after I began Making Sense of Cents, and I undoubtedly didn’t know that bloggers might generate profits. I realized how you can create a weblog from the underside up and have labored my strategy to the place I’m right now. It’s not all the time straightforward, nevertheless it’s been rewarding!

With running a blog, you’ll have so much to be taught, however that doesn’t imply it’s inconceivable. It’s difficult, however in a great way.


9. You can also make a residing running a blog

That is in all probability among the best issues I’ve realized since I first began my weblog – you’ll be able to truly make a residing running a blog!

No, not each single particular person will turn into a profitable blogger (it’s NOT a get-rich-quick scheme), however I do know many profitable bloggers who began in an identical manner as I did – running a blog as a pastime that grew from there.

For me, I’ve earned a excessive revenue with my weblog, and I’ve sufficient saved to retire at any time when I would really like. I’m nonetheless engaged on my weblog, although, as I take pleasure in what I do.


A number of years in the past on considered one of my favourite hikes.

10. I like truly having fun with what I do for work

Earlier than beginning this weblog, I completely dreaded the workweek.

However, that isn’t the case anymore.

Running a blog is one thing that I simply take pleasure in a lot, and it’s a enormous ardour of mine.

I get up and really take pleasure in working daily. Positive, there are days after I could also be drained or obtain a impolite message from a stranger (sadly, that’s simply the web world for you), however, basically, daily has been superb.

I take pleasure in writing new weblog posts, speaking with readers, researching and enhancing monetization strategies, working with firms, being energetic on social media, discovering new methods to develop Making Sense of Cents, and extra.


11. The start will likely be powerful

While you first begin your weblog, it is going to be exhausting!

In any case, beginning a brand new enterprise entails studying so many new issues. The problem you expertise at first is totally regular.

I obtain so many emails from readers who inform me that they’re afraid to begin a weblog, afraid to place themselves on the market, and so on., and they’re on the lookout for my prime piece of recommendation about getting began.

My prime piece of recommendation – simply make the leap!

Almost each blogger I do know (even the actually profitable ones) was afraid to place themselves on the market.

That is tremendous regular.

Nonetheless, you gained’t know except you try to lastly make that leap.

Maybe you are able to do issues to inspire your self, reminiscent of create a imaginative and prescient board or write out the long-term objectives you hope to attain with running a blog.

No matter you determine to do, don’t let concern maintain you again.


What’s subsequent?

Truthfully, my predominant purpose is just about the identical as it’s yearly – get every thing deliberate and scheduled for the subsequent a number of months.

Being a brand new mother takes up a variety of my time (and I’m so grateful I get to expertise all of it!), so being forward on work makes life so much simpler.

I’m additionally engaged on discovering new methods to develop Making Sense of Cents. I’ve considered probably beginning a TikTok or moving into Instagram Reels. I really feel like these are two nice methods to develop proper now; nonetheless, my time is restricted. I additionally wish to proceed to develop my website positioning visitors and discover new methods to assist my readers.

Talking of my readers, I’m so very grateful for all of you, and I’m comfortable that you’re all right here.

If there’s something you’d like me to jot down about on Making Sense of Cents, please ship me an electronic mail at or go away a remark beneath.

Thanks a lot for being a reader of Making Sense of Cents!


There are numerous precious, free sources for bloggers!

I’m going to finish this weblog submit with my favourite checklist of running a blog freebies.

I didn’t spend any cash at first with the intention to learn to weblog – as a substitute, I signed up for a ton of free webinars, free electronic mail programs, and extra. You’ll be able to undoubtedly do the identical!

  1. Should you don’t have a weblog created but, then I like to recommend beginning off with my free running a blog course How To Start A Blog FREE Course.
  2. Affiliate Advertising Ideas For Bloggers – I launched this free 36-page book to show you all about internet affiliate marketing for bloggers.
  3. How To Improve Your Google Visitors (FREE Video Coaching) – That is my favourite free, website positioning coaching, and it teaches you how you can enhance your content material so to rank via website positioning.
  4. The Free Running a blog Planner – The Running a blog Planner is a free workbook that I created only for you! On this free workbook, you’ll obtain printables for beginning your weblog, creating weblog posts, a every day/weekly weblog planner, objectives, and extra.

I additionally advocate studying Greatest Running a blog Programs & Assets That Helped Me Make $100,000+.

Are you curious about beginning a weblog or your individual enterprise? What questions do you’ve for me?

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